Dwayne Bowe, Wally Gilby, And The Jubilant Matt Cassel

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This is maybe my least creative post title of all time.  I REALLY hate the “____, ____ and ___ ___ ____” title format you see plastered all over the blogosphere these days.  It’s designed to bring in Google hits, which is an unbelievably lame way to write.  Sports blogging, though, is becoming less about writing and more about search engine optimization (SEO).  You can thank the big networks for that.  They actually employ people whose job it is to push SEO.  In other words, to make writing worse.  You might as well get a job burning books.

So yeah, sorry about the lazy headline.  I got back from a tour with local indie/pop legends The ACBs at 4 a.m. last night*, and I have no brain cells to spare for titles.  I want to talk about three players.  So let’s just do that.

*In addition to my duties as fake journalist, for about four days per year I also function as a fake roadie. 

We’ll start with Bowe.  I don’t have anything new to say here, really.  D-Bowe is an amazing player, and he always has been.  He can do things no other player I’ve ever seen can do.  He’s dropped some big passes in his day, and he’ll probably drop some more.  Nobody is allowed to complain about that anymore.

I know some of you are turned off by Bowe’s personality.  I don’t getcha, man.  He’s good-natured, funny and vibrant on a team whose leaders try desperately to deprive us of all three of those traits.

I’ve loved many Chiefs players over the years, as we all have.  Mike Mazlowski, Kimble Anders, Dale Carter, James Hasty and Brandon Flowers all have marble busts in my mental hall of heroes.  Bowe has a full-body gold statue.  Never has a player brought me so much joy.

The “hail the glorious leader” crowd loves to attribute Bowe’s success to Todd Haley’s famed (within Chiefs Nation only) prowess as a motivator.  That seems like a reach to me considering Haley’s motivational results have been a mixed bag at best.  But then, I guess some of you don’t see it that way.  The players who do well were motivated by our coach, the players who don’t……

Look, I know some of you are desperate to give Todd Haley credit for anything positive that happens.  He certainly takes blame when things go wrong, so maybe thats just part of the balancing act.  But in this case I feel like the player is getting shortchanged.  Can we really give a coach credit for circus catches and ridiculous YAC?  Did Haley teach D-Bowe to do any of the things that make him great?

Dwayne Bowe will go down as the greatest receiver in Chiefs history.  Let’s start treating him like it.

Gilby and Cassel after le jump:

I want more Wallace Gilberry.  No matter how much I get, it’s never enough.  The conventional wisdom is that Gilby isn’t suited to a full-time role.  As it so often is, the conventional wisdom here is bullshirt.

This season is turning into a something of a Tyson Jackson lovefest*, and Chiefs fans have always loved Glenngarry Glenn Dorsey.  But let’s just take an objective look at Gilberry vs the LSU Block Eaters, and see who really isn’t suited for full-time duty.

*Four assisted tackles Sunday, no solo.  I don’t much care about tackle stats regardless, but it’s worth keeping in mind that the Chiefs assign those stats themselves.  Jackson tends to end up with an assisted tackle whenever he’s near the pile, much like Dorsey did when the men who picked him were still running things.  I’ll let you judge for yourselves whether this is a coincidence or not.

Even Jackson’s and Dorsey’s biggest supporters admit they’re basically useless against the pass.  When that QB drops back, they simply aren’t capable of generating any pressure.  This isn’t an insult necessarily; it just isn’t the type of player they are.  Their (alleged) skill set is geared almost entirely towards stopping the run.

Gilberry, of course, is exactly the opposite.  He’s a pass-rush whiz, but undersized against the run.  So naturally he’s the back up.  This is the way its always been.

I’m just not sure its the way it should be.  Confused old men and clueless announcers still talk about stopping the run being key, but everyone who is paying attention realizes the NFL is now a pass-first league.  Why not adjust the defense accordingly?  If the pass is king (which it is), why do we insist on stopping the run first?  The logic is outdated.

When an offense’s goals are uncertain, I see no theoretical reason why a pass-rusher wouldn’t be of just as much use as a run-stuffer.  Essentially, you’re picking your poison.  Which poison is worse: the one that hurts a little, or the one that can instantly kill you?  A successful team needs to be able to see reality and adjust to it.  Sticking with run stoppers in the base package because “that’s the way its always been done” is asinine.  Yet it appears that’s exactly what we’re doing.

If Tin Man finds himself in the game on a pass play, he’ll be stood up, provide no pressure, and essentially be useless to the defense.  Can the same be said for Gilberry against the run?  Not according to the 10 TFL he had last year.  He might not draw fake double-teams, but Wally Gilby can just as easily turn a running play into a net loss as he can a pass.  He’s also forced more fumbles this season than Tin Man has in his entire career.

Wally Gilby should be a full-time starter.  If he was, I think he’d be Pro Bowl material.  Instead, our coaches can’t get past the fact that he doesn’t look like what a 3-4 end was supposed to look like 20 years ago.  The result is a perfect pocket any time the opposing team wants to pass on first down.  It doesn’t have to be this way.

Gilby in the base set, Tin Man on obvious rushing downs.  This is an easy one.

And finally, a question about Cassel:

What do you guys think about these celebrations?  I’ve really been getting a kick out of it up until now, but I’m starting to think it might be time for someone to take Cassel aside and have a little chat.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good showboat.  I’ve literally never wanted any of our players to tone it down at all.  Pope’s first down signal 10 yards short of the marker last year was one of my favorite moments of the season.  Even Samie Parker’s five yard dances had the Big Matt seal of approval.

Still, I’m on the fence about Cassel’s antics.  On the one hand, he’s fired up, I’m fired up, so why not have fun with it?  On the other hand, he does it no matter how badly he’s been playing up to that point, and he’ll even do it after he makes a bad throw.  That lob to Bowe in the corner was really poorly thrown.  His jumping QB sneak was one of the worst I’ve ever seen.  He acted like he’d just won the Super Bowl after both plays.  I can’t imagine how frustrating it must’ve been for Colts fans to watch this mediocre QB show them up like that.  I would’ve really hated him in their shoes.

In the end, I’m just happy Cassel is throwing touchdowns.  But I am curious as to what you Addicts think of what comes after.  Funny?  Inspring?  Too much?  My feelings right now are a mixture of all three.

God, I hate the bye week.

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Tags: Dwayne Bowe Matt Cassel Tyson Jackson Wallace Gilberry

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